20151103

Thomas Brooks

Quest. But what course must we take? What means must we use, to find out that 'particular sin', for which God corrects us, or which hath brought the rod upon us?
Ans. 1. Observe what that sin is, that thy conscience doth most upbraid thee with, and check thee for. Conscience is God's preacher in the bosom, Gen. xlii. 21, 1. 15-17. Now, observe what that particular sin is, that conscience doth most smartly and roundly correct and chastise thee for; for it is ten to one but that is the sin that hath brought the rod upon thee. The voice of conscience, and the voice of the rod, do usually echo one to another. It is very rare to find a difference between the language of conscience and the language of the rod. Conscience is God's deputy, God's spy, God's notary, God's viceroy; and therefore do not despise the voice of conscience, do not turn off conscience, as Felix "turned off" Paul, Acts xxiv. 25. If the secret cry of conscience be, Oh, this is for thy pride, or this is for thy passion, or this is for thy self-love, or this is for thy earthliness, or this is for thy carnalness, or this is for thy hypocrisy, or this is for thy formality, etc., it will be your wisdom to apply to the secret cry of conscience.
...  Neglect of duty will never get guilt off the conscience. ...
The privy key of heaven in Complete Works